Our lavender bush has grown absolutely wild this summer and I’m not upset about it at all! Lavender is one of my favourite herbs to relieve stress and anxiety since research shows that lavender has calming, soothing, and sedative effects on the nervous system when consumed or inhaled. Lavender’s calming properties are due to it’s main constituents: linalool, linalyl acetate & terpinen-4-ol. These chemical compounds calm the nervous system by modulating GABA levels in the brain. Since GABA is one of our main inhibitory neurotransmitters this means that lavender balances excitatory / stimulating neurotransmitter firing, which in turn calms the mind and body. Coffee, on the other hand, has the exact opposite effect on the nervous system. Studies in humans have shown that caffeine from coffee increases cortisol levels (our stress hormone) at rest, and that levels of cortisol measured after caffeine consumption are similar to those experienced during an acute stressful event. Drinking coffee, in other words, re-creates stress conditions for the body. Naturally, I decided to combine my favourite nervous system relaxing herb with my favourite stimulating drink for a delicious morning beverage with a little less of that unwanted anxiety-inducing kick.
Yield 1 cup syrup
1 cup water
2 tablespoon of dried lavender flowers
1/2 cup raw honey
1 shot of espresso or 1 small cup strong-brewed coffee.
- 3/4 cup almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
Bring 1 cup water and 2 tablespoon of lavender flowers to a boil in a small stovetop saucepan. Add 1/2 cup raw honey and then reduce heat simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain the syrup and pour into a container to store in the fridge (will keep for 10 days). Add 1 tbs of lavender syrup to a shot of espresso or brewed coffee and top with steamed & frothed milk.
Serving Size 1 tbs
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrates 6 g
Sugars 5 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Image from: my little farm in the city
- Cavanagh HMA, Wilkinson JM. Biological activities of lavender essential oil. Phytotherapy Research. 2002;16(4):301–308.